The twisters that hit the American South have left a trail of destruction and death in their wake. At least 12 bodies have been found; among them are two children and a three month old baby. Mississippi was the worst off with 10 of the 12 dead.
The destructive trail of the tornadoes stretched from Louisiana to Mississippi, and everything on that path has been utterly destroyed or mangled beyond recognition. Over 1000 homes are estimated to have been destroyed. The destruction also meant that many parts of the state were plunged into darkness due to severed power lines. Power is only expected to be restored on Tuesday or Wednesday, leaving over 10,000 people in darkness.
According to the National Weather Service, the Mississippi tornado hit up to 170 mph in speed. The Governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, has requested for emergency federal aid and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials were due to arrive on Monday. The Governor himself who was a firsthand witness to the destruction said that the tornado appeared to be gigantic and miles wide. Unofficial reports have placed the width of the twister at one and a half miles. Barbour was at his home at the time in Yazoo County, one of the hardest hit locations of all. The county alone is estimated to have lost over 320 homes.
Rescuers are currently engaged in trying to find any survivors in the rubble. As the efforts continue, the death toll is expected to rise.
Pakistani police and other government officials state that 23 people were killed in a suicide bombing that took place in Peshawar in Pakistan on Monday, 19th April 2010.
The bomb was detonated in the midst of a crowded marketplace, whilst policemen were on duty, watching over a rally held in protest of power cuts in the city.
The suicide bombing claimed the life of one of Peshawar’s most senior policemen. The responsibility of the attack remains unknown – although most persons would automatically blame it on the Taliban who have been responsible for a dozen or so of the recent bombings in Pakistan.
The incident took place at Qissa Khawani which translates into Storytellers’ Bazaar in Peshawar right after protestors concluded a rally held in opposition of power cuts and soaring inflation rates. The power cuts are controlled by the Jamaat-i-Islami party.
Amongst the 23 dead are more police officials and demonstrators as well. One of the witnesses, Khalid Khan said that he spoken very briefly to a policeman just before the bombing claimed his life.
He said that there were over 100 people at the protest and he had had a quick word with the deputy superintendent of police, and had told him to keep an eye out for bombings which seemed to be quite frequent nowadays. According to Pakistani media, this particular police official was Deputy Supt Gulfat Hussain.
Prior to the suicide blast, another bomb blast which took place on the outskirts of the city claimed the life of a boy while wounding many others.
The clashes between Thai soldiers and supporters of the opposition in Bangkok have claimed upto 20 lives and injured over 800 people.
The worst in the spate of violence took place on Saturday evening, during an attempt by soldiers and the police to take over an area currently held by the opposition, but proved to be unsuccessful.
Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to which protestors reacted by flinging petrol bombs: the most amount of violence the country has witnessed within the last eighteen years.
Panitan Wattanayagorn, a government spokesperson stated that no live bullets had been fired. Saturday’s violence claimed the lives of four soldiers.
The concentrated efforts made by the Thai troops saw scores of opposition supporters clad in red shirts attempting to break their way into government offices in protest in the cities of Udon Thani and Chiang Mai.
The government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and security forces both vouched to exercise restraint with demonstrators this time around in view of the tragedy that took place during riots last year when two protestors were killed.
The opposition supporters’ protests are in aid of new elections. During the past month, protestors have camped in several areas in the city.
According to media reports, the government troops as well as the protestors both detonated explosives and fired weapons during the clashes.
Before midnight on Saturday, Prime Minister Vejjajiva, speaking on national television said that his troops had cut short their operation. He also expressed his ‘regret’ to the victims’ families.
The city of Baghdad, Iraq was rocked by three powerful explosions bringing two months of uneasy calmness to an end. The coordinated attacks targeted three foreign embassies killing 32 people. No casualties were reported from within any of the embassies, but the casualties on the street were staggering. Almost 200 people including taxi drivers, motorists and pedestrians, were severely wounded as a result of this horrific episode.
The Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI) is suspected to be behind the attacks as it fits their modus operandi. They have carried out similar attacks in the past such as a triple attack on hotels in Baghdad a few months ago. The IAI has also attacked a few government ministries, courthouses and so on.
The IAI somehow manages to evade all the checkpoints that are scattered all over the city and still make it to their targets. The vehicles targeting the embassies were estimated to have carried out at least half a ton of explosives, but still managed to evade the authorities en route to their targets.
The fifth wave of attacks of the IAI, as it is being called, were aimed at the Syrian, Iranian and Egyptian embassies. The German embassy and the Ambassador’s residence which is located nearby were also affected by the bombing but it is unclear at this time if they were primary targets. The three embassies targeted though are from the nations which are regularly accused of harboring and backing Al-Qaida.
Whatever the reason for the attacks, the loss in human life and the brutality do not justify any cause.